Two-thirds of people with omicron in study had COVID-19 before

A study in England of people recently infected with the omicron variant of the coronavirus virus found that two-thirds had already had COVID-19.

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The findings come from a continuing study conducted through Imperial College London’s Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission or REACT program, according to The Guardian.

The study showed that of the 3,582 volunteers who tested positive for the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus, 64% reported that they previously had a confirmed case of the coronavirus.

Professor Christl Donnelly, who directed the study, said: “There appear to be people who are at higher risk, because they’ve been infected again.”

Researchers say that they are still trying to determine if the cases are true reinfections or if the tests picked up traces of a previous infection. It is not clear how many of the volunteers who tested positive had been fully vaccinated.

Scientists concluded in the report that past infection with COVID-19 is associated with a higher risk of reinfection with omicron variant.

The study showed that the risk of infection was higher among people living in large households, those in more deprived areas and among people of Asian, Black and other ethnicities.

One in 23 people in England were infected with the coronavirus between Jan. 5 and Jan. 20, researchers said. The number was the highest figure since May 2020.

Nearly 8% of primary-school-age children were confirmed to have the virus during that period — the population with the highest number of people infected.